Watermelon Carpaccio

Happy Tuesday, Fellow Foodies!

It is still HOT here in Southern California, and the fresh produce is still rolling in from the local farms. Even though today is September 4th, I am still able to obtain fresh watermelon. It is still sweet, juicy, and delicately flavored. I personally prefer the new seedless varieties, but whatever your tastes desire just go with what is freshest.

One of the more avant garde preparations that I like to concoct with watermelon, is also one of the simplest to prepare appetizers in my arsenal. It is a watermelon Carpaccio.

"What is Carpaccio?" you ask...Here is a brief history of the dish:

Carpaccio is traditionally a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison,or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin and served as an appetizer. Carpaccio is a typical dish from Piedmont "La carne all'albese", it was invented at Harry's bar in Venice, where it was first served to the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo in 1950 when she informed the bar's owner that her vegetarian doctor had recommended she eat only raw meat. It consisted of thin slices of raw beef dressed with a mustard sauce made of French Dijon mustard. The dish was named Carpaccio by the owner of the bar, Giuseppe Cipriani, in reference to the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, because the colors of the dish reminded him of paintings by Carpaccio. The term is now used to refer to the preparation of meat or fish served raw and sliced thinly. Some restaurants have taken to naming any dish of thinly sliced food 'carpaccio'. Personally, though, I do limit myself to only calling reddish type foods "carpaccio" just to maintain  a little tradition.

I think most people would be surprised to find out that watermelon lends itself very well to the addition of chili spice and a little salt. This recipe is very popular here is Southern California as it has an Asian influence. Keep an open mind and give it a try. You won't be sorry!!!

Watermelon Carpaccio

8 oz. Cube of watermelon
Kosher Salt
Shichimi (or nanami) togarashi (or Cayenne powder, or red pepper flakes)
vintage balsamic vinegar

Slice the watermelon as thinly as you can.

Lay the slices 5-7 per plate in an attractive fashion on a chilled plate.

Dust with kosher salt, shichimi togarashi (or pepper), and sprinkle very lightly with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

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